Dec 9, 2015

A Review On The Late Train

2015-12-04-1449264338-992599-TheWiz_p3_DDKA_horz.jpg

So, after all those previous posts about my excitment for The Wiz Live! Here I am almost a week later posting about it. I am a mess. LOL. I have to say I really enjoyed the production for the following reasons:


  • Stephanie Mills still has it! I was happy to see her looking and sounding great. God bless her.
  • Shanice Williams held her own despite being a newcomer. 
  • Ne-Yo really turned it out when he sang "If I Can Feel." Who knew he could convey such a feeling of pathos. Plus he was kinda cutish, looking like a little tin can man.
  • Elijah Kelly can win. Child!
  • David Alan Grier is a seasoned pro. This man can do it all! 
  • Mary J. Blige reached out of her comfort zone and delivered.
  • Queen Latifah, bravo, you have been in the game for a long time and you still challenge yourself.
  • Uzo Audba, you sold that song with feelilng. I believe in you!
  • Amber Riley you are just too cute with yourself. 
  • Vogueing in Emerald City! But of course! 
  • I loved the layering of actual sets with the projected screen images. Very 21st century.
  • Costumes went from cute to couture, to down right futuristic. I see a new category being served at the next Ball....Emerald City Realness vs. Munchkin Land Madness
  • The songs still hold up after all these years. I have been humming them since Dec. 3.
  • I felt everyone put their hearts into every moment, both on stage and backstage.
Overall, it was fun to watch. Yes, there were some missteps but nothing so heavy that it brought me down while watching it. I am eager to see if it makes it to B'way as planned. I want to relive it all really, truly, live!

Oct 17, 2015

Quick Update On My Current State of Affairs

Love it! Inspires me to keep on easing on down the road.

Hello Good People,

Well, the past several weeks have been periods of frenzy, focus, frustrations and freedom. Yup, basically a mix bag emotions that I have come to know and love about life on this planet. Here are some updates:


  • I got an A in both of the classes I took over the summer. It was mad work. I spent each day in the library from 1-4 pm. 
  • I've been celibate for six months and will be rectifying that very soon. I have two friends with benefits paying me a visit. Mind you, the visits will be on separate days. I am not a young thing anymore and I can't pull of certain stunts like I did back in the day. Okay!
  • The new principal at my school is only 32 years-old. He is lazy, full of himself, regurgitates cliche after cliche, points out the painfully obvious, and lacks the teaching experience and intellect to inspire others. It is no wonder he was fourth of fifth choice. 
  • I have been managing my money a bit better, and will set up a bi-weekly payment arrangement with my mortgage company that will improve my overall cash flow. Handling my business makes me feel like a grown up.
  • I remain grateful for my family and friends that motivate me to keep on, keeping on.

Aug 17, 2015

What Summer Vacation?



Good people, this is how my summer went down:

  • I took two courses towards my Masters over the summer.
  • I taught summer school for children with severe and multiple disabilities.
  • I finally earned the extra funds needed to buy a new sofa.
  • Now, I am moving my furniture and materials into a larger classroom.
This has left me realizing I didn't have a break. I have been up and running since the last day of school. Hopefully next year I will get an actual summer vacation. I should go somewhere fab!

Aug 14, 2015

Friday Fun with Fierce False Females aka Draq Queens

Happy Friday! I just need some draq queen silliness to get my weekend going. Enjoy the kiki!

The Shade of It All



The New ABCs


Aug 5, 2015

UPDATE: Putting It Together...The Wiz



So Shanice Williams is going to play Dorothy in the live TV version of The Wiz. Oh sooki, sooki, now. It is all coming together.

In case ya missed it, Queen Latifah is going to play The Wiz, Mary J. Blige is going to be Evillene, and David Alan Grier is going to be The Cowardly Lion, and as I mentioned in a previous post, B'way's original Dorthy, Stephanie Mills, is going to be Aunt Em.

I'm ready to ease on down that road with this cast.

New Casting Updates! (from left to right):
Elijah Kelley will be the Scarecrow
Ne-Yo has joined the cast as the Tin Man
Common will be playing the role of the Gatekeeper to Oz
The trio will appear in the live production slated for December.

Jul 21, 2015

Miss Piggy Breaks It Down

I am teaching during the summer for the same program that I worked last year. I am concerned about my pay getting to me right. Last year the program coordinator really screwed up the payroll and my money came late, and came up short!  They better get it right!

Jul 20, 2015

A Change Is A Comin'



The previous principal at my school had to scale it back, so she left to run a much smaller school. I now have a new principal at my school. I worked with him before, briefly; about 6-7 years ago. He is much younger than me, and was a teacher at the time. We were kinda of cool yet a bit indifferent towards each other. This dynamic may be due to the fact we really didn't work that closely together.

These days he is a married man with two small children and is "living out loud for Jesus, unashamed and determined to see His glory shine!" He has five years of teaching experience and about the same years of experience as an administrator.

I am curious to see how this all works out. He is taking on the largest Pre-K-8 school in the district with half of the student population identified as English Language Learners, and over 90% of students qualify for free or reduced lunch. Oh and our school has over 800 kids! Yup! It's one huge challenge to take on.

It concerns me that someone so young and relatively inexperienced as both a teacher and administrator was selected for this school. I would have placed an interim principal, moved this guy over for the experience, and done a complete search for an experienced principal from a school similar to my school.

Alas, the superintendent didn't ask me for my personal take on how things should be handled. With all this said, I will do my part to be a part of the solution. In life there is nothing permanent except change, and I will embrace this change.

Jul 16, 2015

Doppelganger Around The Corner

celebrity-doppelgangers-14-20

So it seems I have or had a doppelganger living just a few blocks from my house. I have been stopped twice by two men that were 100% sure I was Elvin Rios. I mean both of these guys jaws dropped when they realized I wasn't really their friend.

The first incident of being mistaken for this Elvin guy occurred back in April. This guy was driving down the street, came to a screeching halt and called out, "Elvin!" He got out of the car, walked up to me and went to shake hands with me! When I looked at him with a confused expression, he realized his mistake and said, "Oh my god you look exactly like my friend."

Today I went on the bus; the bus driver looked at me with his jaw on the floor and he said, "Wow! You look like this guy that use to live near here. His name is Elvin Rios. He's a christian. You know down with the church. He moved to Texas."  I told the driver that someone else had mistaken me for this guy.

I really would have like to have seen this guy. I am curious to see how we are similar. It's also kinda strange this dude is or was literally around the corner from me.

Jul 14, 2015

A Thousand Words


Some images that have caught my eye over the past few days.

Source: Jeremiah's Vanishing New York - a blog dedicated to recording the rapid extinction of NYC. Click here for the lamentable story.
Gomez-Peña as El Warrior, Gringostroika 

2015 Fall Couture for Y'all

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So Viktor & Rolf really went to a twisted but beautiful place for their Fall 2015 Couture collection. They had a vision of taking beautiful art off the walls and wrapping it around the female form. Is it a groundbreaking idea or fantasy, no not really, other designers have used paintings as an inspiration in designing a dress. Think of the Mondrian dress done by Yves St. Laurent.

However, Viktor & Rolf pulled off a construction idea that was truly genius. Check out the artistry and craft below.

  20

  18

  16


Jul 2, 2015

Channing Tatum Giving FA-CHE

Well okay! You better serve it!


Jun 30, 2015

My Ongoing Education on PrEP




So a lot of conversations, among gay men, are being had about using PrEP in order to prevent HIV infection. According to the poster I saw at the Pride event over the weekend, PrEP or this pill is changing HIV prevention.

Aaron over at Relentless Egomania has been posting about of his exploration into using PrEP as his primary method of HIV prevention. Click here to see what his experience has been like over in Canada.

The San Francisco AIDS Foundation has also created an excellent site that answers some FAQs about PrEP. Click here for the website. A hat tip to Ms. Izzy for connecting me to this resource.

I have been considering using it myself, but have concerns about what the long term use of PrEP could have on the human body. I know with medications such as, Truvada, there is an increase in kidney function and lower bone mineral density. Moreover, I haven't even explored whether or not my insurance would cover the cost of the medication.

I need to get some answers to a few questions I have to make the decision.


Jun 26, 2015

SCOTUS Gets It Right -

Hey Bert! Put a ring on Ernie's finger. It's long overdue.
Hallelujah, that the SCOTUS got it right in their decision legalizing same-sex marriage. At the end of the day everyone has a right to equal protection under the law.

Here is an excerpt from Justice Kennedy's majority opinion:

"No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were. As some of the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death. It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves. Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right."  --Justice Kennedy

Now, for the folks that range from unhappy to down right outraged about the decision, I say this to you, "Get over it! Move on!"  There are other important issues to contend with, that directly affect you, which are occurring in our country, and on our planet. Why not put your energy into issues regarding the environment, public education, gun violence, racism, poverty, etc. etc.

Jun 23, 2015

RuPaul Alumni Spread the Love





Mathews Mansion all dolled up for a pride event.

So good people, I went to the Triangle Community Center's Pride In The Park 2015 event a couple of weeks ago. It was held in Mathews Park located in good ol' Norwalk, CT. 

Alyssa Edwards, Mother,
House of Edwards
The headliners of the event is what motivated me to attend. I squealed when I found out RuPaul's Drag Race alumni Alyssa Edwards, Laganja Estranja and Shangela were going to bring their charisma, uniqueness, nerve and talent to the stage. 

Shangela, Daughter
House of Edwards
As I walked towards the stage, I passed the backstage area, and right there within spitting distance was Alyssa Edwards. Now, I didn't spit at her, instead,  I smiled and whispered the words, "You are awesome." Alyssa gave me a coy look and smile and seductively mouthed the words, "Thank you."

Laganja Estranja, Daughter
House of Edwards
The girls put on a fun show. I was very impressed with how Shangela really gave it her all. Laganja made me gag when she leaped off the stage and went into a death drop. As for Alyssa, she was in mother mode, and kept it subtle but sexy. A good time was had by all.

BTW, a co-worker of mine accidentally saw a pic of Shangela when she was looking at other pics on my phone of a former student. She looked baffled and screeched, "What is that?" I chuckled and replied, "A drag queen." She then handed the phone back to me. I then laughed some more.












May 30, 2015

Life On The D Bus

Image result for ct transit new haven

Hey good people, so the other day I, along with some other passengers, had to bear witness to the tragic ending to a love affair between two passengers. It went down like this:

A man and woman get on the bus. Both of them seem upset, the woman's eyes are watery. The man pays his fare and walks briskly to the back of the bus.

Woman: "You not even going to pay for me to get on the bus! What the fuck! I am talking to you! I only have a $20 bill on me!"

(Man sits silently in the rear of the bus.)

Woman: "Does anyone have change?"

(A woman sitting near the front of the bus gives the other woman a dollar.)

Woman: "Thank you."

(Woman walks towards the back of the bus.)

Woman: "I should fuck you up! You are a sorry ass fucking man!" (voice shakes)

(Woman sits down across from the man.)

Man: (whispers) Calm down. Ok. Relax.

Woman: "How the fuck you gonna go into that restaurant knowing you aint got no money and order food for me to then pay for it!? I got kids!"

Man: (whispers) Relax. You need to relax.

Woman: "What kind of fuckin' man are you. I am done with you. I swear on my kids I am done fuckin' with you."

Man: (whispers) Ok. Stop. I only have $12 on my card. Chill.

Woman: Who the fucks does that? Who goes into a restaurant knowing they aint got shit. I got kids motherfucker. I don't need this shit. I am so fucking done with you.

(Bus stops and a woman gets on with a small child about 4 years old.)

Woman: "You lucky there's a baby on the bus. Cause I just wanna fuck you up right now. But, I got kids and that baby don't need to hear all of this."

(Bus travels for five more minutes and arrives at major transfer stop. Man gets up standing next to me and winces, then puts his head down. Man departs from the bus and lights a cigarette and keeps it moving. Woman walks to the front of the bus and requests a transfer. She then exits the bus and walks in the opposite direction of the man.)

Yeah. She done with him!

I felt tremendous sympathy for the woman. It is slim pickin's out there, and sometimes one has to settle for a bit less and hope the person is just a fixer-upper.

Then when it comes to the end it's like a one two punch to your ego. One punch for knowing you settled for less, and another punch for getting played by someone that wasn't even up to par. It aint easy coming to that realization.

May 12, 2015

Yet Another Post About The Wiz

The Wiz Live: NBC Casts Stephanie Mills to Play Auntie Em

So, it turns out NBC took my advice and decided to cast Stephanie Mills as Auntie Em, in the new production of The Wiz. As I mentioned in that previous post Ms. Mills played the original Dorothy in the Broadway production many moons ago.

I am excited about this! I can't wait to see who else will be cast in the production.


Apr 8, 2015

The Wiz Is On Baby!



Looks like my wish was granted. The Wiz is going to be NBC's next live musical production! It is set to air in December. But wait it gets better. Along with the TV version, a revised live stage production, set for Broadway, is also in the works. And, the production team is partnering with Cirque Du Soliel. Joy and rapture! Click here for more details.

I still standby my recommendations for casting I shared in a previous post. Click here for the list. However, I must add Stephanie Mills to the cast. I can see Ms. Mills doing an awesome job as Aunt Em.

Apr 1, 2015

Yet Another State Setting Themselves Up

Representative Bob Ballinger of Arkansas, right, was among the bill’s sponsors who dismissed amendments to the measure. CreditDanny Johnston/Associated Press

















The following comment made by a NYT's reader summed it all up for me. Basically, the mediocre and bigoted are flexing their muscle in certain states. 

K Henderson
 is a trusted commenter NYC 4 minutes ago

State government in action is rarely a pretty sight.

In my home state, the (cough) lawmakers there are mostly composed of the C students from my highschool. The A students often left to NYC, Boston and CA and never. came. back.

BTW, doesn't Ballinger look suspect? If this bill is signed into law, I wonder if he is going to be smiling when civil rights law suits are filed by the folks that were mistreated, due to the business owners that use this law to discriminate.

What a colossal waste of time!





Mar 30, 2015

Nice Place To Visit, But....



I am in awe of this image above. It is the Popocatepetl Volcano in Mexico. The volcano's activity has increased moderately. Umm, if I lived near it, I would get to packin'.

Mar 18, 2015

Joan River's Penthouse

Ballroom

I needed to take a mental diversion. It has been one of those days. So, I am looking at luxury listings and came across the penthouse that was home to Joan Rivers for many moons.

Check out the listing by clicking here.

Ms. Rivers lived the good life!

Annoyed Monkey



Why me? So, today I find out that when my accountant went to e-file my tax returns, someone else had beat me to the punch!

Yes, good people, some slime-ball of a human has stolen my SS # and filed a tax return.

Now, I have to wait 180 days for the IRS to sort this mess out. Well, I hope it will be only 180 days. Lord give me strength!


Mar 9, 2015

I'm 47 and I Can Kick and Stretch



Yesterday, I celebrated my 47th year on this planet. As I do every year, let me share a few more things I learning on this journey:
  • young people will usually do what they want to do, despite an elder's excellent advice
  • unfortunately folks in position of power are rarely the best, brightest, or most qualified
  • a healthy baby is a blessing to a family because he or she renews hope and reminds adults of their journey
  • it is important to have a friend or confidant that is at least 10-15 years older than you
  • somethings are destined to be, and most things happen for a reason
  • I don't trust people that don't fess up to functioning on some level of  cray-cray
  • everything old, is new again
  • showing up for life is everything

Feb 27, 2015

Leonard Nimoy's Turn At Metamorphosis



Leonard Nimoy has passed on. I have to say he lived longed and prospered.

My earliest memory of seeing Leonard Nimoy as Spock was of me being shocked that an actual alien from another planet was on TV. He fooled me. I respect him for realizing he had created such an iconic character, in his role as Spock, that he would forever be remembered for that role.

With dignity and respect for the character, he played Spock several times over in a few of the Star Trek film reboots. He was such a good sport about his Spock and Star Trek legacy. Travel on Mr. Nimoy.


Feb 19, 2015

NBC Needs To Ease The Wiz On Down to the Studio



I know it's old news, but supposedly NBC is considering doing a live version of the legendary musical The Wiz. Let me tell you all kinds of good feelings washed over me, I remember this show when it was on Broadway. I never got to see it live on stage, but knew the soundtrack.

Well, I am hoping the stars align and all will be set to bring this show back to the masses. I loved the movie version, although as I got older I wished the original Dorothy on Broadway, Stephanie Mills, would have been cast as Dorothy in the movie.

While in that train of thought about casting. Here is is my 2015 dreams cast for The Wiz:

Glenda - Audra McDonald (She never has a bad turn in any role. Plus, she can bring that angelic voice.)

Evilene - Jill Scott (Ya know Jill has woke up and said more than once in her life time, "don't nobody bring me no bad news." Her voice is powerful and she can act.

Scarecrow - Usher Raymond ( I think Usher will have fun with the physicality of the role.)

Tin Man - Don Cheadle (He rocked it as Sammy Davis Jr. and I am sure can do a mean tap routine)

Cowardly Lion - Jamie Foxx (Now, who else can sing and bring the comedy better than Jamie?)

Now, I am stuck with a choice for The Wiz and Dorothy! Anyone has suggestions for these two roles?


Noisy Baby Monkeys




So, lately I have been utilizing the computer labs at the university. I tend to get more work done, by being in a space dedicated to learning. When I am at home I procrastinate and have a hard time staying focused on my work.

Well, it seemed like a good idea to use the space and resources at school. However, now that the semester is up and running I am noticing that all the twenty-something students that surround me tend to chat, giggle and gossip. I find it amazing they can get any work done.

I haven't said anything, because I am pretty sure I would have done the same at their age. I am going to bring my cushy headphones to the labs just to diminish the ambient sound a bit. Yes, I have become that older and bit grumpier monkey that wants the baby monkeys to pipe down.

Jan 28, 2015

Hey, 'Memba When Allan Use to Post on the Regular?



Good People,

I have been MIA for several months now. Well, actually I've been reading and enjoying your blogging. Renee, Viktor, Michael, et. al., ya be doing it! However, I have been letting the grass grow long, and the dust collect on my own blog.

I assure you it has nothing to do with any major drama, or illness, or disinterest. Gracias a dios. The simple reason is my old ass laptop has been giving me problems when it comes to posting. I am well overdue for an upgrade. However, I need a new sofa first. Priorities!

So, I plan on posting from my lovely computer lab, at my lovely university. BTW I am so digging my TESOL masters program. I am four courses in, loving my cohort and doing well. I will see this journey all the way to the end. I got a lot of guardian angels and the grit to make it happen.

I have also been working really hard to give my K-4 students, at my ever so lovely school, the best that I can give them. They motivate me to bring my pedagogical skills to new levels, and they crack me up! The things that come out of the mouths of those babes.

I have so much on my mind and need to extract things out carefully and in an orderly fashion. I gotta ease back into my blogging with  some form of grace and decorum. It would not be cute for me to mentally vomit all over the place. So, please keep an eye out for my future posts.

Peace,
Allan